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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

California once again - September 2019

Watching Black Oystercatchers at Crystal Bay Point Park
         My son Chris invited Sharon and I to Disneyland in California and he paid our admissions as our birthday presents since our birthdays are only 33 days apart. We flew from Philly to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County. We would meet up with the family there and spend three days at the park. Afterward, Sharon and I would be birding in Orange County, basically along the oceanfront but a few inland sites also.
None other than John Wayne himself greeted us at the airport

Kylo Ren and a stormtrooper searching for Sharon in Disneyland
          After leaving Disney and saying our goodbyes we headed to one of the best sites in Orange County, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, otherwise known as the wastewater treatment area. 

          About two weeks before we arrived, birders had found a Common Ringed Plover here. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, it was long gone. Instead, we had to settle for Clark's Grebe, Greater Roadrunner, Allen's Hummingbirds, Black-necked Stilts, White and Brown Pelicans, Spotted Towhees and Orange-crowned Warblers.
Clark's Grebe
Western Grebes

American White Pelican

Lincoln's Sparrow

Spotted Towhee
Snowy Egret

           The next morning we found ourselves at Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve along the coast in Huntington Beach. This is a must-see preserve with great birding from a boardwalk and flat dirt pathways.  
Ridgway's Rail

Willet (western race)

Reddish Egret

Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron

Long-billed Curlew

American White Pelican

Savannah Sparrow (Belding's Race)

Western Sandpiper

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Marbled Godwits in back row. The others are Willets and Dowithchers

Great Blue Heron sunning himself
          We moved further south and found Elegant Tern, Wrentit and California Gnatcatcher plus others at Crystal Cove State Park.

Black-bellied Plover


Black Turnstone

California Gnatcatcher

California Gnatcatcher-notice black under tail feathers

California Gnatcatcher-Endangered Species
           The next day we were back at Bolsa Chica once again. We added some new birds today like Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Vaux's Swift, and Eared Grebes.

Vaux's Swift - identified by geography and nothing else

Red-necked Phalaropes

Red-necked Phalarope

Eared Grebe - head not in the greatest position for photo

White-faced Ibis-notice red-colored eye
            Finally, we headed to Huntington County park, which is located inland about 5 miles. We walked around the library for about an hour and then headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Philly. We did find some interesting birds a the park.

Scaly-breasted Munia (male on right side of the tree trunk)
This is a better photo of Munia that I took in Hawaii
          Mixed in with the thirty or so Munias was one bird that I had no idea of its identity. I finally had to ask the eBird compiler from Orange County for help with ID.

Pin-tailed Whydah (immature male)

Pin-tailed Whydah seen here with female Scaly-breasted Munia
Introduced bird from Africa  
          Although we only had two days of birding it was fun to see some new birds and birds from the west coast that I don't see too often.

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